So you think there are about five "first line calibre" centers in the league in a given year, then?RoyalDude wrote:I disagree, Kes is not in the class of the prototypical ultra-skilled elite play making centre. I always liken a first line centre as someone who can make a play out of nothing, sort of like Hank, and set up teamates at will. Even though, Hank doesn't score, he has the vision and hockey sense that all great first line centre's possess, ie Joe Thornton who ain't a massive goal score himself. Kesler tends to play by himself at times, with a shoot first mentality to be put in that category, he isn't known as a great playmaker. As a two-way centreman, there is nobody better in the business, first line calibre? No, but definitely the top of the league at 2nd line calibre.dbr wrote:Even before Kesler's "anomaly" season he was 11th in scoring among centers..
The fact is that we know what kind of player Ryan Kesler is and even if he never scores 40 goals in a season again he's still a first line calibre center when healthy.
Kesler is easily a top 10-15 center in the league, you can join Farhan in thinking the Canucks need an Art Ross winner every year but the fact is there are 20 teams in this league with worse players centering the first line, top powerplay unit, etc than Ryan Kesler.
I would also like to say that Kesler's ability to make his teammates better pretty underrated here as well - of course he is no Joe Thornton or Henrik Sedin and he never will be, but his last non-anomaly season he had his own powerplay unit and he racked up 50 assists on the season. He may never make a saucer pass across the ice over the stick of a defender look as easy as Hank does but his hard work and speed and passing have opened up plenty of scoring opportunities for his teammates.